Moderators: Random Orbital Bob, nev, Noel, Charley, CHJ

By warbiespig
After advice on face masks me and my 15 year old son turning mainly pen blanks, wood and now acrylic. Got a scott half face mask with p3 filters. Okay for me but uncomfortable for my son. Am i better loking into the full face mask with filters. I know the are expensive.

By sunnybob
I use throw away P3 masks, mould to the nose and fit any adult sized face (as long as it doesnt have a full beard)

A couple quid a time, but i use them for several days before binning them.
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By Lazurus
I can recommend the airstream powered cap with forced air. It is comfortable and very effective, but like all good things comes at a cost. Sometimes a bargain can be had on various selling sites. no price on a pair of lungs or eyes though.

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By Andy K
I use a Trend Airshield Pro for my dust protection (I have a beard and glasses so most disposables are useless) and its been one of the best workshop investments I've ever made. I was also very impressed when a manufacturing issue caused the headband to break spontaneously after owning it for several years, Trend replaced the whole mechanism with no quibbles.

I'm not sure how well it would fit a child's head but worth a thought.
By Dave Brookes
Steve, have a look at a product called ‘Dust be Gone’, albeit a bit pricey it would most probably suit your son.

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By Paul Hannaby
Dave Brookes wrote:Steve, have a look at a product called ‘Dust be Gone’, albeit a bit pricey it would most probably suit your son.


Those are sold as nuisance masks, they don't have any protection rating. For turning hardwoods, a FFP3 for dust masks (or THP2 for respirators) rating should be used.
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By Robbo3
I have just bought a new Trend Airshield Pro for £176 not the £269.96 being asked by Trend.
To say I'm disappointed is an understatement.

To start with, it's heavy.

Then, quoting from the manual,
"Battery packs should be initially charged for 24 hours and 14 hours thereafter when fully discharged.
Full working capacity of the battery will not be achieved until the battery has been through 3 or 4 complete charging cycles. Please note the light will not extinguish when a full charge has been achieved."

24 hours for an initial charge & 14 hours thereafter is what I would expect for Ni-cad batteries which have a memory effect when not fully discharged. Ambiguously it says "when fully discharged" not, must be fully discharged.
How the heck are you supposed to tell when the batteries are charged.
Very poor.
By Duncan A
Robbo, the Trend Airshield has a NiMH battery which has a greater capacity than Nicad but I don't think NiMHs can take the fast charging (and discharge) supported by Nicad, and the charging regime described by you is fairly typical . The point of the three full charge/discharge cycles is to maximise the battery capacity; if you don't follow it, the battery will work fine but you may not get a full 8 hours use out of it. NiMHs are very commonly used in rechargeable devices because Li-Ion are wonderful things but have their own disadvantages, such as a relatively short lifetime of charge/discharge cycles.
Most of the very expensive respirators with separate battery packs use Li-Ion but a replacement battery for my Sundstrom would cost around £180 - something that big companies with stringent HSE requirements are happy to pay, but most hobbyists will baulk at.
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By johnt64
I use APF 10 powered respirator which is comfortable and lightweight although I must add that I am required at work to wear a hard hat ear defenders, LEP, and a head torch throughout my working day so I am used to wearing PPE. However I do not rely totally on the mask I also have a air filtration system, a dust extractor with a hepa filter fitted and an extractor vented to the outside. As previously stated what price is a pair of lungs.
By Making Shavings
I've been looking at a new mask/face shield system too. Currently trying to figure out if all the numbers/spec of the 3M 6000 series is up to the job for woodturning. Watching this with interest.
By Inspector
Making Shavings wrote:I've been looking at a new mask/face shield system too. Currently trying to figure out if all the numbers/spec of the 3M 6000 series is up to the job for woodturning. Watching this with interest.

I have a 3M 6000 series full face mask that I use for all my respiratory protection. Because full face masks seal around the periphery of your face they are more comfortable around the nose. Their downside is they weigh more than the half mask versions. I feel that in my beat up old neck after a while. You can't wear glasses with one but 3M make a spectacle kit that fit inside and they are the best protection if you wear contact lenses and are working with glues, polyester and epoxy resins, finishes etc., where the fumes can be absorbed into the contacts. If you ever come across a compressor air supplied filter pack, adaptor hoses are available that replace the filters.

If at all possible you should have any mask you buy fit tested to be sure it fits correctly. They put the mask on you, then a hood over your head and shoulders, then introduce a strong smell into the hood. If you smell it the mask is a fail and you need a different size or another type. Industrial suppliers that sell masks can do fit tests, at least here in Canada they do.

No respirator works properly if you are not clean shaven. The only work around if you have a beard is to smear petroleum jelly into your beard around the edges of the mask and who wants to do that to their face. If you have a beard you'll need to pony up for the battery powered air masks others mentioned.


I'll add that I took a one day respirator protection course that included fit testing masks. The instructors had a way of comparing the protection rating of masks. The best disposable mask rated 100, the half face was 1000 and the full face was 10,000. That is why I have the full face mask.
By Making Shavings
I've been looking at the 3M full face mask too, but it's not suitable for woodturning (over here in the UK).
Dust particle filtration is up to spec, but the 3M technical sheet states the visor is only rated for impact against particles, not nasty chunks of wood flying at high speeds.
I'm now looking at the versaflo system, but man, the cost!
By Inspector
You can always put a regular face shield over top of the full face when you are working with stuff that may come apart but just wear the full face for sanding and finishing. Then you'll have twice the protection when needed, more so than safety glasses and a face shield. I had a Racell (sp?) ages ago before they were bought up and it worked well but was hard on the neck and because the motor was in the hard hat it was noisy. The helmet attached ear protection just transmitted the sound straight to my ears so I don't care for any of those kind of devices. Filter/ battery/motor packs on the belt may be better for weight and nose reduction.
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Making Shavings wrote:......
I'm now looking at the versaflo system, but man, the cost!

It certainly is a very big hit on the hobby funds, but having experienced the benefits It's the best I've ever experienced for wearing comfort and dust exclusion.
But as you allude the cost of such a commercially priced units is way out of the justifiable reach of most hobby wood workers.